Study: More than 400,000 U.S. tech jobs to go unfilled this year

Although more IT workers are looking for jobs these days, 425,000 U.S. IT positions will nonetheless go unfilled this year, according to a study released today from the Information Technology Association of America.

That's a sharp turnaround from last year's ITAA workforce study, when the trade association predicted that employers wouldn't find workers for 850,000 jobs. Hiring plans have been slashed by almost 44% compared with last year, and companies are expected to hire a total of 900,000 IT workers in 2001, vs. 1.6 million last year.

The Arlington, Va.-based ITAA attributed the change in hiring outlook to the slowing economy. "Companies appear ready to rein in their hiring plans and proceed cautiously," said the report. The results were compiled by the ITAA after it conducted telephone interviews with 685 IT managers in companies with at least 50 employees.

The report's findings were met with some skepticism from analysts, who called last year's ITAA hiring projections "exaggerated."

Mike Boyd, manager of human resourcing strategies at IDC in Framingham, Mass., said he believes there's "a lot of double counting when you talk about unfilled requisitions."

For instance, a staffing firm and its client could both be seeking to fill the same opening for a Web developer, a position that will ultimately be filled by one person.

The ITAA also found that:

  • The U.S. IT workforce totals 10.4 million people, the majority of whom work for IT companies.

  • Demand for technical support workers has fallen 65%, although the field remains competitive and will comprise a quarter of all new positions during the next 12 months.

  • Demand in the area of enterprise systems increased by 62% in 2001. And network design/administration demand rose by 13%.

  • Calls for IT workers in the area of digital media will drop 62%. For database development/administration employees it will be off 59%, and for web development workers it will be off 25%.

    Even so, Kazim Isfahani, senior industry analyst at Cambrige, Mass.-based Giga Information Group, doesn't believe that demand for database developers has slowed.

    "All the companies I've talked to need database developers," he said.

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  • Copyright © 2001 IDG Communications, Inc.

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